Florida Senate - 2018                                    SB 1660
       By Senator Farmer
       34-01625-18                                           20181660__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to mandatory retention of grade 3
    3         students; amending s. 1008.25, F.S.; deleting
    4         provisions relating to the mandatory retention of
    5         students who receive specified scores on the grade 3
    6         statewide, standardized English Language Arts
    7         assessment; amending ss. 1008.34 and 1008.345, F.S.;
    8         conforming provisions to changes made by the act;
    9         providing an effective date.
   11  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   13         Section 1. Paragraphs (b) and (c) of subsection (5),
   14  paragraphs (b) and (c) of subsection (6), subsection (7), and
   15  paragraph (a) of present subsection (8) of section 1008.25,
   16  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   17         1008.25 Public school student progression; student support;
   18  reporting requirements.—
   20         (b)To be promoted to grade 4, a student must score a Level
   21  2 or higher on the statewide, standardized English Language Arts
   22  assessment required under s. 1008.22 for grade 3. If a student’s
   23  reading deficiency is not remedied by the end of grade 3, as
   24  demonstrated by scoring Level 2 or higher on the statewide,
   25  standardized assessment required under s. 1008.22 for grade 3,
   26  the student must be retained.
   27         (b)(c) The parent of any student who exhibits a substantial
   28  deficiency in reading, as described in paragraph (a), must be
   29  notified in writing of the following:
   30         1. That his or her child has been identified as having a
   31  substantial deficiency in reading, including a description and
   32  explanation, in terms understandable to the parent, of the exact
   33  nature of the student’s difficulty in learning and lack of
   34  achievement in reading.
   35         2. A description of the current services that are provided
   36  to the child.
   37         3. A description of the proposed intensive interventions
   38  and supports that will be provided to the child that are
   39  designed to remediate the identified area of reading deficiency.
   40         4.That if the child’s reading deficiency is not remediated
   41  by the end of grade 3, the child must be retained unless he or
   42  she is exempt from mandatory retention for good cause.
   43         4.5. Strategies, including multisensory strategies, through
   44  a read-at-home plan the parent can use in helping his or her
   45  child succeed in reading.
   46         5.6. That the statewide, standardized English Language Arts
   47  assessment is not the sole determiner of promotion and that
   48  additional evaluations, portfolio reviews, and assessments are
   49  available to the child to assist parents and the school district
   50  in knowing when a child is reading at or above grade level and
   51  ready for grade promotion.
   52         6.7. The district’s specific criteria and policies for a
   53  portfolio as provided in subparagraph (6)(b)4. and the evidence
   54  required for a student to demonstrate mastery of Florida’s
   55  academic standards for English Language Arts. A parent of a
   56  student in grade 3 who is identified anytime during the year as
   57  being at risk of retention may request that the school
   58  immediately begin collecting evidence for a portfolio.
   59         7.8. The district’s specific criteria and policies for
   60  midyear promotion. Midyear promotion means promotion of a
   61  retained student at any time during the year of retention once
   62  the student has demonstrated ability to read at grade level.
   64         (b) The district school board may only exempt students from
   65  mandatory retention, as provided in paragraph (5)(b), for good
   66  cause. A student who is promoted to grade 4 with a good cause
   67  exemption shall be provided intensive reading instruction and
   68  intervention that include specialized diagnostic information and
   69  specific reading strategies to meet the needs of each student so
   70  promoted. The school district shall assist schools and teachers
   71  with the implementation of explicit, systematic, and
   72  multisensory reading instruction and intervention strategies for
   73  students promoted with a good cause exemption which research has
   74  shown to be successful in improving reading among students who
   75  have reading difficulties. Good cause exemptions are limited to
   76  the following:
   77         1. Limited English proficient students who have had less
   78  than 2 years of instruction in an English for Speakers of Other
   79  Languages program based on the initial date of entry into a
   80  school in the United States.
   81         2. Students with disabilities whose individual education
   82  plan indicates that participation in the statewide assessment
   83  program is not appropriate, consistent with the requirements of
   84  s. 1008.212.
   85         3. Students who demonstrate an acceptable level of
   86  performance on an alternative standardized reading or English
   87  Language Arts assessment approved by the State Board of
   88  Education.
   89         4. A student who demonstrates through a student portfolio
   90  that he or she is performing at least at Level 2 on the
   91  statewide, standardized English Language Arts assessment.
   92         5. Students with disabilities who take the statewide,
   93  standardized English Language Arts assessment and who have an
   94  individual education plan or a Section 504 plan that reflects
   95  that the student has received intensive instruction in reading
   96  or English Language Arts for more than 2 years but still
   97  demonstrates a deficiency and was previously retained in
   98  kindergarten, grade 1, grade 2, or grade 3.
   99         6. Students who have received intensive reading
  100  intervention for 2 or more years but still demonstrate a
  101  deficiency in reading and who were previously retained in
  102  kindergarten, grade 1, grade 2, or grade 3 for a total of 2
  103  years. A student may not be retained more than once in grade 3.
  104         (c) Requests for good cause exemptions for students from
  105  the mandatory retention requirement as described in
  106  subparagraphs (b)3. and 4. shall be made consistent with the
  107  following:
  108         1. Documentation shall be submitted from the student’s
  109  teacher to the school principal that indicates that the
  110  promotion of the student is appropriate and is based upon the
  111  student’s academic record. In order to minimize paperwork
  112  requirements, such documentation shall consist only of the
  113  existing progress monitoring plan, individual educational plan,
  114  if applicable, report card, or student portfolio.
  115         2. The school principal shall review and discuss such
  116  recommendation with the teacher and make the determination as to
  117  whether the student should be promoted or retained. If the
  118  school principal determines that the student should be promoted,
  119  the school principal shall make such recommendation in writing
  120  to the district school superintendent. The district school
  121  superintendent shall accept or reject the school principal’s
  122  recommendation in writing.
  124  STUDENTS.—
  125         (a)Students retained under paragraph (5)(b) must be
  126  provided intensive interventions in reading to ameliorate the
  127  student’s specific reading deficiency and prepare the student
  128  for promotion to the next grade. These interventions must
  129  include:
  130         1.Evidence-based, explicit, systematic, and multisensory
  131  reading instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency,
  132  vocabulary, and comprehension and other strategies prescribed by
  133  the school district.
  134         2.Participation in the school district’s summer reading
  135  camp, which must incorporate the instructional and intervention
  136  strategies under subparagraph 1.
  137         3.A minimum of 90 minutes of daily, uninterrupted reading
  138  instruction incorporating the instructional and intervention
  139  strategies under subparagraph 1. This instruction may include:
  140         a.Integration of content-rich texts in science and social
  141  studies within the 90-minute block.
  142         b.Small group instruction.
  143         c.Reduced teacher-student ratios.
  144         d.More frequent progress monitoring.
  145         e.Tutoring or mentoring.
  146         f.Transition classes containing 3rd and 4th grade
  147  students.
  148         g.Extended school day, week, or year.
  149         (b)Each school district shall:
  150         1.Provide written notification to the parent of a student
  151  who is retained under paragraph (5)(b) that his or her child has
  152  not met the proficiency level required for promotion and the
  153  reasons the child is not eligible for a good cause exemption as
  154  provided in paragraph (6)(b). The notification must comply with
  155  paragraph (5)(c) and must include a description of proposed
  156  interventions and supports that will be provided to the child to
  157  remediate the identified areas of reading deficiency.
  158         2.Implement a policy for the midyear promotion of a
  159  student retained under paragraph (5)(b) who can demonstrate that
  160  he or she is a successful and independent reader and performing
  161  at or above grade level in reading or, upon implementation of
  162  English Language Arts assessments, performing at or above grade
  163  level in English Language Arts. Tools that school districts may
  164  use in reevaluating a student retained may include subsequent
  165  assessments, alternative assessments, and portfolio reviews, in
  166  accordance with rules of the State Board of Education. Students
  167  promoted during the school year after November 1 must
  168  demonstrate proficiency levels in reading equivalent to the
  169  level necessary for the beginning of grade 4. The rules adopted
  170  by the State Board of Education must include standards that
  171  provide a reasonable expectation that the student’s progress is
  172  sufficient to master appropriate grade 4 level reading skills.
  173         3.Provide students who are retained under paragraph
  174  (5)(b), including students participating in the school
  175  district’s summer reading camp under subparagraph (a)2., with a
  176  highly effective teacher as determined by the teacher’s
  177  performance evaluation under s. 1012.34, and, beginning July 1,
  178  2020, the teacher must also be certified or endorsed in reading.
  179         4.Establish at each school, when applicable, an intensive
  180  reading acceleration course for any student retained in grade 3
  181  who was previously retained in kindergarten, grade 1, or grade
  182  2. The intensive reading acceleration course must provide the
  183  following:
  184         a.Uninterrupted reading instruction for the majority of
  185  student contact time each day and opportunities to master the
  186  grade 4 Next Generation Sunshine State Standards in other core
  187  subject areas through content-rich texts.
  188         b.Small group instruction.
  189         c.Reduced teacher-student ratios.
  190         d.The use of explicit, systematic, and multisensory
  191  reading interventions, including intensive language, phonics,
  192  and vocabulary instruction, and use of a speech-language
  193  therapist if necessary, that have proven results in accelerating
  194  student reading achievement within the same school year.
  195         e.A read-at-home plan.
  196         (7)(8) ANNUAL REPORT.—
  197         (a) In addition to the requirements in paragraph (5)(b),
  198  Each district school board must annually report to the parent of
  199  each student the progress of the student toward achieving state
  200  and district expectations for proficiency in English Language
  201  Arts, science, social studies, and mathematics. The district
  202  school board must report to the parent the student’s results on
  203  each statewide, standardized assessment. The evaluation of each
  204  student’s progress must be based upon the student’s classroom
  205  work, observations, tests, district and state assessments,
  206  response to intensive interventions provided under paragraph
  207  (5)(a), and other relevant information. Progress reporting must
  208  be provided to the parent in writing in a format adopted by the
  209  district school board.
  210         Section 2. Paragraph (c) of subsection (7) of section
  211  1008.34, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  212         1008.34 School grading system; school report cards;
  213  district grade.—
  214         (7) TRANSITION.—School grades pursuant to this section and
  215  school improvement ratings pursuant to s. 1008.341 for the 2013
  216  2014 school year shall be calculated based on statutes and rules
  217  in effect on June 30, 2014. To assist in the transition to 2014
  218  2015 school grades and school improvement ratings, calculated
  219  based on new statewide, standardized assessments administered
  220  pursuant to s. 1008.22, the 2014-2015 school grades and school
  221  improvement ratings shall serve as an informational baseline for
  222  schools to work toward improved performance in future years.
  223  Accordingly, notwithstanding any other provision of law:
  224         (c) Until such time as an independent verification of the
  225  psychometric validity of the statewide, standardized assessments
  226  first implemented in 2014-2015 is provided, for purposes of
  227  grade 3 English Language Arts student performance and high
  228  school graduation requirements pursuant to s. 1003.4282, student
  229  performance on the 2014-2015 statewide, standardized assessments
  230  shall be linked to 2013-2014 student performance expectations.
  231  Students who score in the bottom quintile on the 2014-2015 grade
  232  3 English Language Arts assessment shall be identified as
  233  students at risk of retention. School districts must notify
  234  parents of such students, provide evidence as outlined in s.
  235  1008.25(6)(b), and provide the appropriate intervention and
  236  support services for student success in grade 4.
  238  This subsection is repealed July 1, 2017.
  239         Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (5) of section
  240  1008.345, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  241         1008.345 Implementation of state system of school
  242  improvement and education accountability.—
  243         (5) The commissioner shall annually report to the State
  244  Board of Education and the Legislature and recommend changes in
  245  state policy necessary to foster school improvement and
  246  education accountability. The report shall include:
  247         (a) For each school district:
  248         1. The percentage of students, by school and grade level,
  249  demonstrating learning growth in English Language Arts and
  250  mathematics.
  251         2. The percentage of students, by school and grade level,
  252  in both the highest and lowest quartiles demonstrating learning
  253  growth in English Language Arts and mathematics.
  254         3. The information contained in the school district’s
  255  annual report required pursuant to s. 1008.25(7) s. 1008.25(8).
  257  School reports shall be distributed pursuant to this subsection
  258  and s. 1001.42(18)(c) and according to rules adopted by the
  259  State Board of Education.
  260         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.